The 800-year-old Lincolnshire church where Knights Templar warrior monks used to gather

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The 800-year-old Lincolnshire church where Knights Templar warrior monks used to gather

Just south of the city of Lincoln, a tower - clearly of early English architecture - survives as a relic of the time when the church was probably the highest authority in Lincolnshire.

Temple Bruer was once the second wealthiest Templar preceptory in England - after London - and originally dates back to the mid-1100s.

 

The tower that survives today on the site is a 13th-century tower that formed part of the Templar church.

The 13th-century tower that remains today is one of a pair of towers that was once attached to the chancel of the circular-naved Templar church.

The site in the Temple Bruer and Temple High Grange parish is one of the few where standing remains are still found and its importance is recognised as a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I listed building.

A statement on the Lincolnshire Heritage website describes its interior.

It reads: "The interior walls are covered in masons marks and centuries-worth of symbols carved and scratched into the stone.

"There are many apotropaic (supposedly holding power to avert evil influences) symbols such as daisy wheels, pentangles, triquetras, interlocking ‘V’s and ‘M’s.

"Perhaps these were added by locals after the Templars were arrested and taken to Lincoln Castle, accused of devil worship, infanticide and many other transgressions."

In January 1308 William de la More, the Preceptor of Temple Bruer and the Grand Prior of all England, was arrested at Temple Bruer along with his knights and imprisoned at Lincoln.

The early 13th-century tower at Temple Bruer is a rare survival of the standing remains of an important Knights Templar preceptory church.

Once suppressed in 1312, their property passed to the Knights Hospitaller. Temple Bruer was held by the Hospitallers until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in about 1540, when Henry VIII granted it to the Duke of Suffolk.

From that time it gradually declined until only the present tower was left standing.

A description of the site on the Historic England website reads: "The site of the Knights Templars preceptory at Temple Bruer is rare among examples of the monument class in including standing remains; the south tower of the preceptory church stands to a height of over 16m, most of which is original stonework.

"Archaeological excavation over a large area of the monument has both demonstrated the survival of below-ground remains of the church and provided an increased understanding of the site, while leaving intact buried architectural remains and valuable underlying deposits.

"With the provision of public access the monument also serves as an important educational and recreational resource."

Lincolnshire Heritage formerly cared for the site but it is now in the care of Lincolnshire County Council.

In 2010, Heritage Lincolnshire received a Renaissance East Midlands MuBu grant to create new computer-generated reconstructions of the preceptory.

 

 


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